Sat 24 August 2019:
The opposition leaders had intended to visit Kashmir to assess the situation in the wake of the BJP government’s decision to revoke the occupied region’s special autonomy.
Top officials had told Reuters that the local administration of Jammu and Kashmir would not allow the opposition members to leave the airport at Srinagar, and had booked a return flight to New Delhi for them a few hours after they land.
Around eight senior leaders from several parties including the Congress, Communist Party of India and All India Trinamool Congress had boarded the flight from New Delhi.
The Congress had tweeted that the visit led by Gandhi was “an attempt to review the reality in the region after the abrogation of Article 370”.
The party condemned the BJP government’s move to prevent opposition leaders from visiting occupied Kashmir, asking on Twitter why the delegation was sent back if, according to the government, the situation in the valley was “normal”.
If the situation in Jammu & Kashmir is “normal” as the govt claims, why has the delegation of Opposition leaders led by Shri @RahulGandhi been sent back from Srinagar airport?
What is the Modi govt trying to hide? #RahulGandhiWithJnK
— Congress (@INCIndia) August 24, 2019
“What is the Modi govt trying to hide?” it further questioned.
The Congress also shared a representation signed by opposition leaders that was sent to the governor of Jammu and Kashmir “objecting to the undemocratic and unconstitutional detention of the multi-party delegation in Srinagar”.
The situation in Kashmir remained tense with security forces using tear gas against stone-throwing local residents in Srinagar on Friday, after a third straight week of protests in the restive Soura district despite the imposition of tight restrictions. As many as 400 politicians, including former chief ministers Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, remain under arrest, NDTV reported.
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